Willem Claassen makes operational settings. We encounter these as active environments as they function and thus offer us a sphere of functionality to relate with. As such Willem Claassen’s work touches on the realm of design: his work does function and adheres to our real, economic world likewise. The capacity to materialise applied awe might be the reason why amusement park attractions are competitive with arts: they are more effective in terms of entertainment as their function is subordinate to instant joy Willem Claassen’s work releases a similar type of joy, yet is subversive to the economics of experience as it disrupts their instantly satisfying ambiguous unity of function and narration. This surreal sensory field disrupts our anchors to reality. He breaks the chain of design’s economically imprinted spirits and materialises space for artistically produced doubt within wondrous spheres.
In the accompanying publication, artist and cultural entrepreneur Michiel Huijben playfully describes Willem’s stance towards stuff and processing functionality, building upon some eBay search results of stuff Willem checked. Freek Lomme, director of Onomatopee, pseudo-philosophically maps the operational realm of Willem Claassens ‘applied untensils’, while curator/writer Gerben Willers sums up and unifies a rather associative list of related matter.